Forget the billions of dollars spent on producing Hollywood films and all-star lineups.
Multi-tiered movie theaters and box office ads weren't needed to promote and draw more than 6 million views of a five-minute skit on GodTube and YouTube. It's the second-most viewed video on GodTube, having nearly seven times more looks than its third-place competitor.
The "Lifehouse Everything Skit," performed by Mission Baltimore with music by Lifehouse, has deeply moved the hearts and souls of America, and the only "hook" pulling people toward it is a yearning to draw closer to a forgiving and embracing Savior.
Click on the video player to view the powerful and spiritually moving drama that depicts Satan's hold and Christ's all-encompassing grace, courtesy of the Church of God.
Gripping the Heart of America
Many are calling the "Lifehouse Everything Skit" a phenomena, but it is so much more than that, as more and more continue to fall in love with Jesus or revive their relationship with Him after watching it.
The skit was originally performed at the 2006 Smoky Mountain Winterfest in Knoxville, Tenn. It packed 30,000 into the Tennessee Volunteers' Thompson-Boling arena each night, and has deeply impacted God's Kingdom ever since.
In a society caught up with Oscars and Golden Globes, those involved in the production of the "Everything Skit" received a much greater reward than any golden figurine could ever deliver -- witnessing changed lives.
Numerous testimonies of people receiving Christ have been reported to Winterfest staff through e-mails and GodTube postings, providing eternal blessings far greater than most had ever anticipated.
"This video blesses me every time I watch it," commented one viewer. "It kind of puts into perspective just what Jesus does. No matter how far we go away from Him, he's always trying to pull us back to him. Then, when we decide to come back, he's there to take us back, no matter what the cost."
The drama kept another viewer from losing her faith.
"I was doubting my faith, and for me that is a big deal," she said. "I was doubting if God really exists, and why does he allow things to happen. I was about to make the biggest mistake of my life and turn my back on Jesus and become Buddhist... A friend of mine showed me this video. I cried then and I still cry every time I watch this video. I have no more doubts about Jesus. Praise the Lord Saints!"
The huge response to the skit has driven youth leaders from across the nation to request the video and use it to teach their own drama teams.
The Message and Passion behind "Everything"
The drama focuses on the spiritual warfare being fought for our souls.
At the beginning of the skit, the young woman indulges in the pure joy and innocence of finding her first love in Jesus, as He shows her all the wonderful things He has done and has in store for her.
But this blissful moment becomes tarnished by seemingly harmless distractions, which turn into temptations and ultimately into deadly sins.
The fallen spiritual forces at work begin their relentless attack on the young woman, who takes her eyes off Jesus and sets them on the world.
She finds herself overcome by all the vices made to look so attractive in life: sexual impurity, greed for money, drinking, bulimia, and cutting.
The lies that she has been told about her worthlessness and inability to measure up lead her into depression, attempted suicide, and ultimately into a desperation that spurs her to once again seek her first love.
Only after the woman hits rock bottom does she remember the true source of her joy -- a relationship with Christ.
But she's not alone as she battles to regain the abundant life Jesus has given her. Unable to fend off the enemy's spiritual attack on her own, she puts her eyes back on Jesus, who is waiting for her call for help.
Eager to step in and fight the battle for His bride, Jesus fends off and defeats the demonic attackers who are after her very soul and life.
We are reminded that Christ already won the battle for our souls on the cross, and that we have victory over our sins through our hope and redemption in Jesus.
It affirms I John 4:4: "You dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world."
An Inspired Crew
The "Everything Skit" was written by Mission Baltimore Director Tim Houston.
The actors behind the drama are members of the evangelistic mission, which sets out to "help leaders in the emerging culture align with God's mission."
The Mission Baltimore School of Emerging Missional Leadership, based at the Baltimore Dream Center, is committed to spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ.
"All enrolled students are required to write and perform dramas glorifying Christ, and they also recruit new students," said James Overton, the marketing director of Church of God International Youth and Christian Education, which organized the 2006 Winterfest event.
"Students at Mission Baltimore are all working toward earning a ministry degree from Patten University, which is a university based on Judeo-Christian values in Oakland, California," Overton told CBN News in an interview.
Music Setting the Tone
The "Lifehouse Everything Skit" is named after the alternative rock group, Lifehouse, and their powerful song about God's love, "Everything," which was created during the band's early youth group days.
Lifehouse prefers not to be labeled as a Christian band, and this allows them to reach a broader audience with their Christain lyrics.
The group's Christian lead singer and songwriter Jason Wade's transparent and evocative lyrics add to the spiritual weight behind the drama.
"How can I stand here with You and not be moved by You?" His lyrics read. "Would you tell me how it could be any better than this?"
Sharing the Message of Hope
Winterfest tours the East coast annually from February through March and is organized by the Church of God.
The aim of Winterfest is to "provide a spiritual encounter where students come face-to-face with a loving Savior and experience a spiritual, mental and emotional life-change."
It specifically seeks to repair students whose lives have been marred by abuse, condemnation, hurt, pain and depression.
Through speakers, worship, dramas and life-changing experiences, the conferences are geared to fill participants with the love of Christ.
Organizers of the Winterfest also offer a DVD of its acclaimed 2006 event, which includes the "Everything Skit," also known as the "Lifehouse Drama."
Other Christian youth movements such as Young Life, Teen Mania and Teen Challenge also seem to be sparking a revival in America's younger generation.
Since the video was introduced by a student to GodTube on May 31, 2007, the "Everything Skit" has been viewed more than 4 million times. It has also been visited more than 2.3 million times on YouTube since it was posted there on February 2 of this year.
The evangelistic opportunities of this skit are enormous. "Sixty-four percent of Americans seek spirituality on the Internet, and as Christians, we need to be there for them," said CBN.com's Director of Ministries Craig von Buseck.
"I love watching this video," said one GodTube viewer. "This put me at peace because I have been there and see that God is there looking over me. I just wanted to let everyone know that I almost committed suicide. Thank you so much for the reality that this skit showed me and for its impact on me... It pointed me back to God."
The drama helps all who watch it take II Corinthians 5:21 to heart, "God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God."
(Originially aired and published November 30, 2007) Sources: Church of God International Youth and Christian Education, GodTube, CBNNews.com